After two consecutive weeks of major protests in the nation’s capital, we get a reprieve from massive demonstrations. Still, this promises to be a busy sports weekend, and one of outdoor activities as folks join Cinco de Mayo festivities, a 5K downtown and a festival in the busy U Street NW corridor.
The Washington Capitals and Wizards will provide the main events with the playoffs at Verizon Center. But Friday also is Cinco de Mayo, and folks will be out for the Running of the Chihuahuas on the Southwest Waterfront on Saturday and the annual Funk Parade on U Street.
This means drivers, particularly in the District, should be looking out for some road closures, and be extra attentive for heavy volumes of pedestrians on the road. Transit riders, too, should expect Metrobus detours around street events.
Unluckily, it’s also a big weekend for Metro repair work, which means subway users should add extra time to their travels.
Rain will stick around Friday, and there is a chance of showers, even some thunderstorms, on Saturday and Sunday, the Capital Weather Gang says. The forecast calls for temperatures in the low to mid-60s on Saturday, and it will remain breezy and cloudy. Chances of more sun return Sunday, but showers are still possible in the afternoon and highs will only reach the upper 50s to lower 60s. So grab that light jacket when you head out the door.
Here are some of the traffic and transit challenges that travelers will face this weekend in the D.C. region.
- Verizon Center will be busy this weekend as the Capitals play the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 5 of the playoffs and the Wizards are in playoff action with the Boston Celtics. The games will probably draw plenty of fans to the Chinatown area. Drivers should expect congestion near and around the arena, and be aware of very extensive parking restrictions in the area. Transit riders should add extra time for delays in the Metro system (see track work details below) and anticipate crowds at the Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro station. The Capitals game is at 7:15 p.m. Saturday. The Wizards play at 6:30 p.m. Sunday.
- The annual Funk Parade returns to the U Street corridor Saturday, and that means some street closures along the parade route from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Drivers should avoid the area, and if going to the parade, consider taking Metro. The parade will start in the 600 block of T Street NW, travel west on T Street NW to Vermont Avenue NW, then north on Vermont Avenue NW to U Street NW; west on U Street to 12th Street NW and ending on U Street between 12th and 13th Streets NW. D.C. police said traffic will be heavy in the area as there will be performance platforms scattered around the neighborhood, from noon to 7 p.m.
- If you are driving around Embassy Row, be aware of heavier volumes of pedestrians in the area Saturday. More than 40 embassies will be opening their doors to visitors for the annual Around the World Embassy Tour.
- On Sunday, the Sundress Fest at Wonderland Ballroom will close two blocks in the Columbia Heights area. The annual block party will close Kenyon Street NW from 11th Street NW to 13th Street NW from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Downtown, the area around Freedom Plaza, Pennsylvania Avenue NW between 13th and 14th Streets, will be closed from 4 a.m. to noon Sunday for the Race for Hope 5K. Then the following roads will close from 9 a.m. to noon: Pennsylvania Avenue NW between 14th and 3rd streets NW; 3rd Street NW from Pennsylvania Ave NW to D Street SW; 4th Street NW from Pennsylvania Ave NW to D Street SW; Independence Avenue SW, from 7th to 3rd streets SW.
Track work will affect all Metro lines this weekend. SafeTrack Surge No. 14 continues on the Green Line, which means buses are replacing train service between Greenbelt and College Park. Here are the details of the affected lines:
Red Line. Trains will run on regular weekend schedule, but trains will be sharing a track between Silver Spring and Forest Glen to allow for some track maintenance.
Orange Line. Trains will run every 20 minutes from 7 a.m. Saturday until closing Sunday. Trains will be single-tracking between Federal Triangle and Foggy Bottom to allow crews to install a communication cable along the tunnel.
Blue Line. Trains will also single track between Federal Triangle and Foggy Bottom where the workers will be installing the communication cable. Service is expected every 20 minutes Saturday and Sunday.
Silver Line. Trains will run every 20 minutes between Wiehle-Reston East and Ballston only, on Saturday and Sunday. If traveling to and from other stations, you will need to transfer to the Orange or Blue lines.
Yellow Line. Trains will operate every 20 minutes between Huntington and Mount Vernon Square. Passengers traveling to and from stations north of Mount Vernon Square should transfer to the Green line.
Green Line. SafeTrack Surge No. 14 continues on the Green Line, which means the Greenbelt station will be closed. Shuttle service will be available to College Park, and trains will run every 20 minutes between College Park and Branch Avenue stations.
In Maryland, if you are headed to the beach, be aware of possible lane closures and changes to traffic patterns near the Bay Bridge as crews continue to do work, including inspection and maintenance work on the bridge. Motorists are urged to drive with caution.
The good news for drivers in the Virginia is that there will be no lane closures on southbound Interstate 95 in Dale City this weekend. Transportation officials have moved the work to the weekend of May 12. The work over Neabsco Creek is expected to create extensive congestion and delays.
In Leesburg, Va., however, if you drive one of 230 vehicles that use the Forest Mills Road (Route 727) bridge over Crooked Run, you want to find an alternative. The bridge is in poor condition and is closing until fall 2017 for a major replacement, officials said.